Dr. Sophie McCoy

Assistant Professor

Lang Early Career Fellow, Phycological Society of America

Voices For Science Policy Fellow, American Geophysical Union

I am an ecologist with broad interests in ecology, evolution, physiology, and environmental chemistry.  My research links mechanisms across biological scales that contribute to ecosystem resilience.  I am especially interested in feedbacks between biology and environmental quality.

Read more about specific projects here.

email: mccoy(at)  

office: King 4060

phone: (850) 644-1549​


office: Coastal & Marine Lab Admin Bldg 111

phone: (850) 697-4099

lab:  Coastal & Marine Lab 11


Randi Bowman

PhD Student & NSF Fellow, Co-advised with Sandra Brooke (CML)

I am broadly interested in studying how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning in coral ecosystems. For my PhD research, I will use a combination of observational, field, and lab studies to identify and predict spatial and temporal shifts in coral functional diversity in response to anthropogenic stressors. My goal is to determine which aspects of functional diversity are key to maintaining high levels of coral ecosystem functioning in the face of regular disturbance regimes.


email: rbowman(at)  

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Ethan Cissell

PhD Candidate & NSF Fellow

I am interested in trophic interactions in complex microbial communities, especially top-down controls. My research explores how the relative influence and identity of top-down forces are altered by global change. For my dissertation, I am exploring how altered interactions between bacteriophages and bacteria influence the growth and persistence of cyanobacterial mat communities.


email: ecissell(at)  

Abigail Engleman

PhD!! Co-advised with Sandra Brooke (CML)

I am a Ph.D. student interested in alleviating anthropogenic damage to coral reef ecosystems. My research is particularly focused on reestablishing ecosystem function, which is lost when coral is broken or killed. Through 3D printing Artificial Settlement Modules, I hope to restore structural complexity to reef ecosystems, improve coral larvae settlement, and thus improve ecosystem function on physically disturbed reefs. 

email: aengleman(at)  


Jacob Ephron

PhD Student

I am broadly interested in how anthropogenic stressors affect marine invertebrate fisheries on a population level. I earned my BS in Biology at Haverford College outside of Philadelphia, PA. My past research has varied from studying range expansion in Arctic Killer Whale populations to investigating the combined effects of ocean acidification and climate change on sea anemones.

email: je20bq(at)  


Emily Fuqua

PhD Student, Co-advised with Sandra Brooke (CML)

My research is focused on how the changing environment is impacting marine organisms and populations via shifts in their physiology. My doctoral work investigates major environmental drivers of the Apalachicola Bay oyster population crash and characterizes the oysters’ energetics and stress response. My broad goals include informing the management and restoration plan for these oysters to help reestablish a sustainable and healthy oyster population.

email: efuqua(at)  

Lena Kury

Undergradaute Researcher

I am a sophomore majoring in Biology with a focus in Marine Biology. I am interested in studying coral reefs and cyanobacterial mats and their interactions in the ecosystem. As a Research Assistant, I have analyzed images of cyanobacterial mats using ImageJ, QGIS, and CoralNet. I have presented this research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium and the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference. 

email: lek19a(at)  


Josh Manning

PhD Candidate

Parrotfishes are extremely important herbivores and bioeroders on coral reefs. My current PhD dissertation research focuses on the role of parrotfish behaviors in determining spatial patterns in benthic community structure and bioerosion on the fringing coral reefs of Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean.

email: jcm17e(at)  

Sean McCollum

PhD Student

I am interested in how marine invertebrate physiology and behavior is impacted by shifts in coastal ecosystems. Particularly, I am interested in the direct and indirect effects of ocean acidification on reef-associated invertebrates. I earned my BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz where I researched the functional composition and diversity of invertebrate zooplankton communities off the coast of Santa Catalina Island, CA.

email: sm20jb(at)

Joining the laboratory


I am looking for motivated and curious scholars with an interest in linking organism physiology to community ecology and function.  

Please visit the Opportunities & Expectations page to learn more.

Please note - due to current restrictions on lab occupancy, I am not currently accepting DIS students. Please check back for updates in Summer 2021.

Lab alumni


Penelope Ales, BA Biological Science & DIS Student '17, Lab Tech, FSU

Anthony Sogluizzo, Lab Tech, FSU

Undergraduate Students

 Abigail Baker, FSU

Isabelle Basden, FSU

Troy Broomes, FSU



Joh'Nyra Bryant, FSU


Maria De Jesus, FSU

Michelle Dziewit, Texas A&M



Samina Fuller, FSU

Graduate Students

Kirsten Seal, MSc Applied Marine Science '15,

Plymouth University

Elizabeth Elliot, MSc Environmental Consultancy '15,

Plymouth University

Undergraduate Students

Shelby Graziani, FSU

Jess Henson, FSU


Alie MacVicar, Lehigh University

Joseph Portillo, FSU

Sarah Stoppelman, FSU

TyLeah Tebbenkamp, FSU